The arts, in its multitude of forms, ignites our imagination and engages our compassion by providing creative ways for us to understand difference and disadvantage. Arts and culture inspire and enable meaningful change across our diverse communities and within individual lives, including in the areas of some of the aforementioned public policy challenges.
The creativity and innovation that drives our arts sector plays a key role in building Australia's economic resilience. There is irrefutable evidence that communities with a thriving arts sector are more cohesive, healthy, productive and vibrant. The significant economic contribution of the arts sector to Australia's GDP – over $30 billion annually – should be celebrated. However, these economic indicators should not be privileged at the expense of the intangible benefits of the sector – those indefinable characteristics without which our society would not be civilised. The arts are society's connective tissue - they ignite our imagination and encourage us to see diverse perspectives; they provide inspiration, perspective, consolation. It is these remarkable characteristics that promote tolerance, enlightenment, diversity and social cohesion.
We acknowledge that the traditional custodians of this land we call Australia are holders and custodians of knowledge systems that are passed down from one generation to the next, through an oral tradition practiced for 70,000 years. We also acknowledge the Gadigal and Guringai people, on whose lands we live, learn and work, and pay deep respect to their elders, past and present, to their emerging leaders, and to the knowledge embedded forever in the Aboriginal custodianship of Country.
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